Sunday, August 21, 2011

Must continue pulling self out of hole

Finally caught up with a friend who'd moved to France and now to NYC, when she was back in town to rent out her condo. So goes my blog, so goes my life. I'm not staying connected.


Anyhoo. I did not really do much of anything this weekend, except work, and avoidance of work. Also I made out with my cat, but that's par for the course. I've got a wedding this week, and another in a couple of months, after which I will be the sole unmarried cousin of my generation, save one, and he was a surprise baby born when I was 12. Poor McMumsy has been dealing with my mixed signals quite well, offering up a possible fellow - he's divorced, has a kid and also pet cock-a-roaches - and then not getting p'oed when I told her I wasn't interested in being fixed up. Because I'm not.

Last night I went to a store that sells new clothes for once and purchased two sad, I-will-never-have-sex-again bras. They are what are called "minimizers" and at 12.99 are a fine price. These days keeping the ta-tas in line using the conventional underwire bra is akin to keeping kittens in a sack without a string. They fall out, and misbehave. But no more! Now when I bend over to vacuum the cat hair out from under the sofa, the girls stay where they ought to.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Two things

First thing:
One of the students in the lab is studying hagfish. She just came back with some new ones from deep in the Atlantic ocean. Hagfish look like skinny, shiny, pickled penii. They get into dead fish and eat their way out. Sometimes the fish is not dead yet but that doesn't stop the hagfish. When you irritate a hagfish, it creates an astonishing amount of slime. You could fit the hagfish in one hand but the amount of slime it produces in two seconds is more than you can fit in both. But it's 90% water and so shrinks pretty quickly as you are holding it, which I did. Thankfully it is not like slug slime in that it doesn't stick. Hagfish slime would work great if you wanted to pretend-sneeze on someone.

Second thing:
When I emerged from a labyrinthine basement filled with jarred fish that aren't for eating I heard some odd clopping and a grandma voice but I kept walking. Away from the sounds. When suddenly (but zombie-suddenly) there was an elderly lady with a walker and a man in front of me, asking me where something was. I told her what floor the something was on, and pointed her in the direction of the elevator. At which point I saw the source of the original clopping grandma sound: A second elderly lady with a walker and a man. She was rounding a corner at the other end of the hall at the same time as the first elderly lady. Soon a not-elderly lady appeared and apologized for losing the walker twins. At which point I thought how in the heck do you manage to lose one slow-moving person, never mind two?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

WTF, Heloise? (for Jane)

I come across some interesting books in thrift stores. Such as a book of "hints for working women" first published in 1966, though I have the 1970 edition. Which would be the year McMumsy and PolackPappy were married. And of course McM was, and is, a working woman.

Let's take a trip back in time to see what Heloise had to offer my momma:

"The greatest thing to stuff throw pillows with is plastic bags from your cleaners. Just wad them up as you would paper. So fluffy and easy to care for. Great for making extra bed pillows for that unexpected company. (Free, too.) (Great for making sure unexpected company never shows up unexpectedly again. Or at all.)

...since perfume is mostly alcohol, try pouring some rubbing alcohol into the empty bottle and shaking it up. It mixes like a charm. This can be used for massages and is especially wonderful for the bedridden. Yes, perfume-tinged rubbing alcohol massages are especially wonderful for the bedridden. Because they can't escape the crazy person coming at them with a half-empty bottle of Jean Nate.

Heloise also recommends adding food coloring to all sorts of things. Pink canned salmon with a bit of red food coloring tricks your guests into thinking you've splurged on the more expensive red canned salmon. To stop sweet hubby's pissing and moaning about spaghetti again, why not add some yellow food coloring to make it look like pricey egg noodles? Or you could just urinate on it, which IMHO is cheaper and much more satisfying.

In the book's defense, it did come out just as feminism was gathering steam. Men really hadn't gotten the memo yet that equality doesn't just mean women doing the work of men. It also means men doing the work of women.

And Heloise offers many a helpful tip alongside the terrible ones. Like cleaning your vinyl purse with lighter fluid. Just make sure to put out your smoky treats first, gals!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Babies, babies everywhere

I did my first long (24+ hours) babysitting stint in a long (15+ years) this weekend. In my heyday, I watched up to 10 kids at once, all by my lonesome, though the usual number was more like two or three.

I've lost my touch.

It wasn't that the two girlies, who are seven years and 13 months, were naughty, or needy, or even stinky. I think it's that I'm old. As in, set in my ways, tire easier, farther away from being a kid myself. I do not know how people do it. You have to keep them alive, and clean(ish) and fed and clothed. And then you are also supposed to educate them about the ways of the world, and how to add and subtract, etc. Plus keep yourself alive. And your house clean. And be patient, because it's not kids' faults that they can be self-centered and annoying, and babies know zero about the world, but you know plenty.

I do not get to be much of an auntie to the babies to whom I am genetically related. The last time I saw them my nephew turned from looking out the window and pressed his forehead to mine and gazed into my eyes and smiled, like the Babcia used to do. That and the way his deliciously chubby sister kicks her legs out and grins when you hold her over your head made me want to run out to the sperm bank immediately.

But I bet if I spent 24 hours alone with them I'd feel the same way I did at the end of this weekend's babysitting stint: like my biological clock had gotten a cold dose of reality.

Of course even though I was exhausted and a bit stinky and I had to sleep and sleep and sleep when I got home, I would do it all again, because that my friends is what love is.